The 21st Century Phenomenon


Nassim Saadi was born in Haidra, Tunisia on 11/30/1974. He entered Italy at some unspecified time between 1996 and 1999, held a residence permit issued for “family reasons” by the Bologna police authority in 12/2001. This permit was due to expire on 10/11/2002.

In 01/2002 Nassim Saadi traveled to Iran via Amsterdam and returned to Italy on 02/14/2002. He had also spoken of a “leader of the brothers” who was in Iran. Some of his associates had travelled to “training camps” in Afghanistan and procured weapons, explosives and observation and video recording equipment.

On 10/09/2002 Nassim Saadi was arrested on suspicion of involvement in international terrorism, among other offences, and placed in pre-trial detention. He and five others were subsequently committed for trial in the Milan Assize Court. In Nassim Saadi’s flat and those of his co-defendants the police had seized propaganda about Jihad – or Holy War – on behalf of Islam. In addition, in telephone calls to members of his family in Tunisia made from the place where Nassim Saadi was detained in Italy, he referred to the “martyrdom” of his brother Fadhal Saadi. In other conversations he had mentioned his intention to take part in Holy War.

In 2004 Nassim Saadi complained that while in jail he was beaten by Italian Mafia hooligans after he was, deliberately, locked with them in the same jail section.

Nassim Saadi, was sentenced by a military court in Tunisia in his absence in 2005 to 20 years in jail for membership in a terrorist organization and for incitement to terrorism. He denied both accusations.


 Nassim Saadi, was sentenced, eventually, in 05/2005 for 4.5 years imprisonment for criminal conspiracy and of forgery but was acquitted of the main charge of helping plan terrorist attacks outside Italy and of recruiting militants. He is supposed to be deported back to Tunisia after his term in jail. He was released from jail in 2006 and fought in court his possible deportation to Tunisia also on the ground that he has a child in Italy.  

On 02/28/2008 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy would violate the rights of a former Tunisian terror suspect if they were to deport him to his home country, where he allegedly faces torture.

** Fadhal Saadi, had been detained in Iran either in January or February 2002. After his release Fadhal Saadi had settled in France and stayed in contact with Nassim Saadi. He had then died in a suicide bombing, probably in Iraq, a fact which was a source of pride for Nassim Saadi and the other members of his family.

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